Kent produced in Europe under license, even if it was not as tasty as the American one of the 1990s, but it was still popular. In addition, this brand has always held a firm position in the premium segment and its only serious rival was only Parliament. What were these cigarettes and what was their “technolgy”? Let’s find out further!
In 2005 a landmark event took place for the brand – Kent finally overtook Parliament in sales and from that year BAT began to shoot new Kent cigarettes to the people almost annually. In the same year packs of the brand underwent a global restyling and the cigarettes themselves got a new filter system called “3tek”. Further development of these “tek’s” only multiplied – brands like minitek, nanotek, etc. appeared. True, all the changes were either only in the design of the pack, or the type of filter, or the format of the cigarette. All these “technologies” had little effect on the taste of cigarettes, although even now, some varieties of Kent can still be smoked.
In 2009, Kent “3tek” replaced the filter design and called the cigarettes Kent HD. The “HD” for cigarettes meant the same as for the video standard – High Definition, but with a focus on the taste of smoke. The filter in new cigarettes became three-part and as BAT representatives assured, it improved the taste of the cigarette mixture. By that time, Kent had become the best-selling brand in Russia, and such shenanigans were quite acceptable.
The next version, Kent HDi, appeared four years later, but it was received with some lukewarmness. No, the cigarettes were not worse, but the justification of the new variety was questioned and many advertising texts of these cigarettes were called nothing more than verbiage.
The new version of the cigarettes differed from the older HD’s, of course, only in the filter. Although not by much – just one centimeter of silk thread!
The new Kent was heavily promoted in glossy magazines, and the pack itself had an advertising insert explaining what kind of HDi it was.
So, according to the detailed diagram, the HDi filter still consists of three sections. However, under number 2 in the diagram, there is a “thin thread”, which is somehow supposed to “keep the taste unchanged”. BAT’s marketers have clearly overdone it with this version. And next we will have the opportunity to test the technology in operation!
The pack contains the standard twenty cigarettes of the queen size format, this format was called something else – from “nano”, to “compacts”. The prefix “nano” is still there, but has moved to even thinner cigarettes format KSSS.
The cigarette filter really has three sections – pure acetate fiber, with charcoal chips and an acetate mouthpiece of denser weave fiber. The “drum” of pure fiber, exactly in the center, does indeed have a section of fine thread! I’m not sure if the thread is silk, but it is there.
The quality of Kent in those days was even higher, which actually contributed to high sales, but the premium segment was a stretch, if at all. The sack in sleeves is represented mainly by dark yellow short ribbons and small flakes. Complementing the base are many fragments of yellow and golden yellow. Particles of brown, green-yellow, and brown are present, but in trace amounts. The sack is not without veins, although it is represented here by thin slices and quite modestly. Tar-characteristics of the cigarettes: tar 6 mg, nicotine 0.5 mg, CO 6 mg.
The taste of the smoke is not reminiscent of the old Kent of the 1990s, but it is still more pleasant than the modern one. In the taste, on the background of cigarette and tobacco notes, a certain amount of sweetness is clearly readable. By the way, I don’t particularly associate this flavor with natural tobacco sweetness, but I wouldn’t call it ugly either. Sauce? It’s quite possible. Why couldn’t it be felt in the HD version? There are exactly two variants. It is not there or it is a consequence of the HDi filter. Because the acetate mouthpiece already plays the role of a guide for the jet of smoke when puffing, but the thread of the second section is a kind of channel for the smoke passing through the section with the carbon. It’s a kind of analog of the cumulative charge, but for smoke. As a result, the taste is concentrated on the tip of the tongue, where the receptors responsible for the recognition of sweet tastes are located.
As it turned out from the tasting, the new filter was still helpful. We can still argue about the quality of taste, but the HDi technology was still working. In any case, HDi did not catch on with the brand, probably because of the more expensive filter. But HD type filters are still used in the Kent Core series. The truth is that cigarettes for those 8 years have changed a lot and if they stay in the top, it remains only at the expense of an unreasonably high price.
Are you familiar with Kent HDi cigarettes? And what are your impressions? I’m waiting for your feedback in the comments!